the finished product

So in the end the purse was surprisingly easy to make. It was, however, quite time consuming, and I did manage to get A LOT of glue EVERYWHERE, which took a long time to then clear up, but I don’t think the finished results look too bad!

I got the purse clasp and advice from U-Handbag if you’re tempted to give it a go. The leather is from a stall on brick lane and the lining from Liberty.

bags to do!

With a LONG list of possible projects to do I am half way through making myself a tote bag from “The Liberty Book of Home Sewing” (another lovely Birthday present). The lining is some amazing Liberty sale stuff I bought last year. Alas I am stuck with regards to handles, I may end up making my own… suggestions?

Also very excited as the purse frame I had ordered, arrived today. So I am going to attempt to make a matching purse using the comprehensive instructions on the U-Handbag blog. Wish me luck, as I’ll have updates for you ONLY if it works out well.

made-up bag

This was a little making project I did for a gift. I bought some soft leather from a little shop on Brick Lane, then there was this gorgeous fabric from the bargain bin in lovely Liberty, and a zip from John Lewis.

Having used the zip to work out the sizes I needed to make the purse I cut everything to size and after a bit of trial and error on the sewing machine, put together a raw edged make up bag. Not bad for a first attempt?

chapeau bleu

I just finished off this little piece for a wedding I’m off to at the weekend (photos, no doubt, to follow).

I blocked the felt and then very inexpertly sewed (and glued, shhhh) the inside and the hat elastic and then trimmed it with this felt bow, which was the length from the excess felt.

I just love the colour and shape, made from a hat block I was given as a Christmas present. This was the first time I’d tried it, but I think it will be definitely getting a lot more use!!

lovely liberty prints

So at the weekend I popped into the Liberty sale with Mama Agsieb. As usual we headed straight for haberdashery to start rifling through the one metre pieces. I picked up two great pieces, one you’ll see in a week or so in another project, but the first is this luscious print:

I decided I wanted to make a top from it but then worked out that using this free Burda pattern that I had enough material to make myself a dress. Here’s the results of my hard labour:

black marie skirt

I made this skirt last night (ok, I know you’re thinking what loser stays in on a Friday night, but i was out every other night this week so i get a bit of time off!)

The pattern is another BurdaStyle one but this time it’s free! It’s also pretty easy (although i think the sizing comes up a bit big – so make it a size smaller than you need).

The only things i changed was to give it a wider waistband and add pockets… personally i think EVERY item of clothing should have pockets, some days you just do not want to drag a handbag around with you.

beautiful bunting

Mama-Agsieb and I wanted to make our garden party look a little bit special, so we came up with this bunting diy, its really easy if you’ve got a bit of time on your hands and looks just like posh shop bought bunting (with the added bonus that you can just make it whatever colours you like!) go on give it a go!

List of materials
6 metres of plain webbing or ribbon
4 fat quarters of different fabrics
1 metre iron on interfacing
Cardboard
Pencil
Scissors
Thread
Sewing Machine!

Step1
Cut your fat quarters in half. Iron interfacing onto one half of each or your fabrics.

Step2
Work out the measurements for the most number of triangle flags you can get from each half a fat quarter. We worked out 7 (although this meant some of our pattern had to be upside down so as not to have any fabric wastage). Measure and cut a cardboard template to this size.

Step3
Lay your interfaced and non-interfaced fabric front sides facing. Place your cardboard template, draw and then cut round the triangles so that you have 7 interfaced triangles and 7 non interfaced from each fat quarter.

Step 4
Pin the interfaced triangles to the non-interfaced triangles.

Step5
Stitch the 2 long sides of each of your triangles, close to the edge. Then snip the point of your triangle off, close to the stitching (this makes it easier to fold inside out).

Step6
Turn the triangles inside out (we pushed the point out with a blunt pencil)

Step7
Fold the top edges of your triangle inside and then pin closed.

Step8
Iron your triangles flat.

Step9
From your total 28 triangles decide on the order you want them in. You then need to calculate the spacing for your triangles.

First leave around 50 cm at each end of your ribbon to tie up the bunting, the remaining length for us was 5 metres. Then measure the average width of your triangles, multiply this by the total number of triangles. Subtract this figure from the 5metres (or whatever your length is) of remaining ribbon. The figure you have needs to be divided by 1 less that your total number of triangles (so for us 27). Measure and cut a piece of card to this final figure (ours was 6cm). Pin the spaced triangles onto the ribbon.

Step10
Sew all the triangles onto the ribbon with a single running stitch.

Hang your bunting and party!

something for spring

One of the things I like to do is sew, I’m not very good at it yet and spend a hell of a lot of time unpicking stitches, but I love it. One of my most recent successes was this dress:

I’m a member of BurdaStyle a site where you can download patterns to print and make at home, as well as get tips from the experts on things like “how to sew a zipper”.

The pattern “full skirted dress” was one downloaded from the BurdaStyle site and was relatively easy to make – I chopped and changed quite a few of the elements but hopefully you think it works as well as I do! If you get a chance you should definitely give it a go!